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Château de Beaucastel has long been considered one of the great wines of France. It is unanimously renowned for its balance, elegance and ageing potential. Beaucastel has an extraordinary terroir at the Northern end of the appellation with heavy exposure to the Mistral. All 13 varieties of the appellation have been organically grown here since the sixties.

Château de Beaucastel is 110 hectares, with one single plot at the north of the appellation. The terroir is archetypal of the best terroirs in Châteauneuf: rolled pebbles on the surface, sand, clay and limestone deeper down. The vines are old and have been organically grown for 50 years, which has allowed the roots to grow exceptionally deep. Beaucastel grows all thirteen grape varieties authorised by the appellation.

What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well. Drink: 2017-2032; Rating: 96 Points; Jeb Dunnuck, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

Another stunner from the Perrin family. Deep, earthy nose; juicy and bright with racy blueberry, raspberry and cassis; lush, elegant and seamless with deep spice, licorice and violets; long, tangy and seductive; wonderful now, even better in ten years. Rating: 96 Points; The Tasting Panel, Magazine

The 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been blended and sits in foudre, waiting to be bottled. It shows the vintage profile beautifully—sleek, pure and long, with very refined structure that lets incense, blood orange, red currant and blackberry fruit play out, while hints of mesquite, spice and anise fill the background on the finish. It's remarkably silky for a young Beaucastel, whose high Mourvèdre component often results in it being one of the more dense and backward wines of the AOC when young. But don't be misled to think that means it will be an early-maturing Beaucastel; this has the density, poise and balance to cellar as well as the top vintages such as 2010 and '05. James Molesworth; Wine Spectator

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